Can Writing Your Life Story Be Therapeutic?

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, Can Writing Your Life Story Be Therapeutic?, Dr. Nicolle

Hello and welcome to Motivation and Mindset Mondays! Today, let’s talk about enjoying healthy therapy from writing your life story. We all have things to say in our lives, and if you think about it, your life is a story of sorts. Whether that’s your work history, the people you love, or the trials that you’ve faced along the way, there’s a lot you can learn from your story. And it’s not just about your life story. It’s about all of the stories that have led you to this moment.


, Can Writing Your Life Story Be Therapeutic?, Dr. Nicolle

You may not believe your history is particularly interesting or full of adventure. However, your life story is important because it’s uniquely yours. Nobody else could write it – only you have access to your unique cornucopia of thoughts, feelings, and experiences!

 

 

Have you ever thought of writing your life story? Getting your story down on paper is a process that can bring you much insight and peace. You’ll learn a lot just by doing it. This is a case in which the journey really is more important than the destination.

 

 

The process of writing your story can be a healing one. You don’t have to have a traumatic experience to benefit from writing your story. It can be a wonderful tool to find the answers to some of life’s questions.

 

 

Consider these reasons why this activity can be therapeutic, restorative and healing:

 

 

1. Writing helps you remember.

When you reflect on what has happened in your past and start putting facts on paper, you’ll be surprised to see that you’ll recall more and more details over time.

  • At first, you might feel like you can’t remember enough specifics to write your story. However, as soon as you begin, you’ll find that more memories pop up and just keep coming. In a sense, just by starting to write, you’ve “primed the pump.”

2. You’ll reflect back on your childhood with adult eyes.

You can use your adult knowledge and maturity to “review” your childhood. Processing these experiences now will change how your see those early situations. This can bring healing, hilarity, or even just a sense of peace.

 

 

3. Gain insight and correct errors.

Remembering now how you felt as a child will bring insight into your own feelings. New light is shed on your past when you write your story. You’ll experience some “aha” moments when you reflect on your past and record it.

  • For example, you might realize that even though you were afraid of your Aunt Sally, she was a kind and considerate adult in your life. It was simply her size and loud voice that frightened you. With this new insight, you may be able to re-connect with people from your past.

4. Realize a fresh understanding of your history.

When you reflect on your life and write things down, you begin to understand more about your family, what your parents were experiencing, and what you were going through as a youngster.

  • Feelings of confusion about your past might dissipate and be replaced with deep understanding.

5. Renew relationships with family members by asking for help.

You may want to tap into their memories to fill in details of past situations.

 

 

6. Let go of old hurts and fears.

Using your adult mental and emotional skills to “go back” and see what happened in your life can help you resolve an old hurt or fear. You’ll accept that you cannot change what happened and that it wasn’t your fault because you were only a child at the time.

 

 

7. Re-discover childhood loves and topics of interest.

Recording your memoirs will spark memories of how much you loved a certain hobby, idea or person.

  • For example, maybe you loved painting and yearned to be an artist. Recalling and writing about those experiences might re-engage your love of art. You might visit art museums or take painting lessons to again enjoy one of the early loves of your life.

If you are feeling overwhelmed by the mounting responsibilities of a busy life, or you have no idea where to start to make the changes you want to see in your life, writing your life story might be something you want to investigate. The benefits of writing a life story are many: you can take a step back and evaluate what you want, how you want to live, and start making healthy choices now to reach your goals.

 

 

So, consider writing your life story in which you learn to heal yourself, and in turn, get healthier. Also, the journey is more important than the destination, and we hope to that you start on the journey of taking charge of your own health.

 

 

Putting together your life story can be a powerful experience with enormously positive results. Consider writing your memoirs to bring clarity to your life. You deserve to live a life filled with insight, self-discovery and passion, and writing your history can usher in all of those experiences.

I would love to give you a free resource sheet to support your quest for a healthy mindset. Click the button below to receive your gift.

 

, Can Writing Your Life Story Be Therapeutic?, Dr. Nicolle

 

I really wanted to talk about this topic today because I wanted to share some lifestyle-based strategies to improve your overall mindset and mental health, which in turn improves your life. You must do the internal work to improve your overall health. You can do this by learning what motivates you and working each day on improving your mindset. Your thoughts control your feelings, which controls your behavior. You can cultivate certain behaviors and practices that will not only enrich your life, but that you can pass on to your family, friends, and community, so that you can leave a legacy of health to your loved ones.

 

If you are familiar with my approach, I use lifestyle medicine as the first line of treatment, before medications, to treat lifestyle-related chronic diseases. Lifestyle-related chronic diseases include diabetes, hypertension, obesity, some cancers, just to name a few. Lifestyle modifications, such as stress reduction and mindfulness exercises, can help you feel better about yourself and your life. In certain cases, these approaches may even outperform pharmaceutical therapy. But I always tell my patients that conventional medications may be appropriate at this time to prevent catastrophic illness, but over time, you can work to make the necessary lifestyle changes to possibly reduce and/or eliminate medications. Please remember to always consult your physician for your particular needs and circumstances prior to making any decisions whatsoever.

 

Tools For Motivation And Mindset

Meditating

Although you don’t need a cushion to meditate, you may want to consider using one at some point.  You could meditate in a chair, or simply sit on the floor if you want. You can also use pillows or cushions from your furnishings to try out. Cushion, chair, bench, floor – it’s all good. Eventually, though, if you’re not sitting upright on a chair, you’ll probably do well to buy a dedicated meditation cushion. The cushion will support your sitting posture and help you create an appealing mindfulness corner that will encourage you to practice every day. I recommend this meditation cushion and mat bundle.

 

Journaling

If you struggle with stress, depression, or anxiety, keeping a journal can be a great idea. Even if you don’t have these conditions, journaling can enhance your life in many ways. Having difficulty processing your thoughts and emotions? Journaling can help clear that mental clutter and move towards a positive mindset. Research suggests that keeping a journal can have positive impacts on both mental and physical health. So, to start you on your journey, I recommend this self care journal.

 

Remember, living a healthy lifestyle including eating a whole foods plant-based diet, regular physical activity, meditation and mindfulness, as well as healthy and supportive relationships are the best ways to support mental health. Please talk with your doctor about any complementary health approaches, including supplements, you use. Let me know what you think in the comment section below.

 

Stay healthy,

 

Dr. Nicolle

 

PS. I am always asked what tools and resources I recommend to help you reach YOUR health goals. Here is the ever-growing, always updated list for you.

 

PPS. If you or someone you know is experiencing severe stress, anxiety, depression and/or other mental health issues, please contact SAMHSA’s National Helpline1-800-662-HELP (4357), (also known as the Treatment Referral Routing Service) or TTY: 1-800-487-4889. This is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations. Callers can also order free publications and other information.

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Can Writing Your Life Story Be Therapeutic?

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